Rice farmers in the Upper East Region have expressed optimism about the Warehouse Receipt System (WRS) project of the IFC World Bank Group.
The rice farmers who described the WRS project as an initiative to improve livelihood, also observed that the project activities would not only help them to produce quality grains but offer them opportunities to access credit to expand their agricultural business as they store their grains in certified and secured warehouses.
At the end of a training session on post-harvest management, Madam Doris Adda, a rice farmer at Navrongo disclosed that the WRS project initiatives would enable them to benefit from access to credit as they store their grains in a secured warehouses whilst waiting for better prices. “We did not know how and where to store our rice, the WRS project is a good project for us. At first, the market women will come for our rice, sell it before returning our money but now with the WRS project, we can use our receipts to get loans before selling our produce and the future will be great”
“This WRS project is really for us, at least, there is a system that enables farmers to get loan whilst keeping the produce for a better price, this would help us to get loan and invest more into our farming business”, Mr. Justice Ayine, a rice farmer and the Assembly Member for Nyariga Electoral Area within the Bongo District of the Upper East Region disclosed in an interview.
Mr. James Bawa, a rice farmer at Navrongo, within the Kassena Nankana District of the Upper East, on his part disclosed that the training has exposed him and his colleague farmers to the structured trading systems that enables farmers to get value for their efforts. “It has been a very good eye opener for me and my colleague farmers. Before today’s training, we have been hearing about commodity storage and exchange on the radio, but this training has brought a lot of information that has given us hope for the future. This training has taught us about marketing which has been a major challenge for our farming activities, so this WRS system will give us more stabilized or guaranteed prices and we are no longer forced to sell at the farm gate at whatever prices they offer but this system will help us to sell at a good price.”
The IFC Ghana WRS Project is being implemented in nine regions of the country with financial support from the Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). It is a technical assistance and advisory services project aimed at setting up a well-functioning regulated WRS that is expected to facilitate an increased access to better storage facilities to reduce post-harvest loses, access to credit and structured markets for smallholder farmers and the supply chain. The Project is working in partnership with participating financial institutions to grant better financial inclusion for farmers, traders, and small medium enterprises (SMEs).